The Menace of Fiscal QE

As the Federal Reserve struggles to fulfill its mandate in a world of low and falling interest rates, it faces yet another challenge: that of resisting a new threat to its hard‐​won independence.

Thanks to crisis‐​era changes to its operating procedures, the Fed now enjoys practically unlimited powers of quantitative easing (QE): it can buy as many assets as it likes while still controlling inflation. So far, QE has been a weapon for combating recession. But if certain politicians have their way, the Fed may be forced to use it not for macroeconomic purposes but to finance backdoor spending. That’s The Menace of Fiscal QE.

In his brief but systematic study, George Selgin reviews the movement favoring fiscal QE, shows how it threatens both the Fed’s independence and democratic control of government spending, and counters claims that it offers a low‐​cost means for financing such spending. Finally, he suggests a way to guard against fiscal QE without limiting the Fed’s ability to counter slumps

The Menace of Fiscal QE cover

Fuel to the Fire

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump broke not only from the Republican Party but also from the bipartisan consensus on U.S. foreign policy. Calling the Iraq War a terrible mistake and lamenting America’s nation‐​building expedi­tions, Trump evinced little interest in maintaining the traditional form of American leadership of the liberal international order. Instead, Trump’s “America First” vision called for a reassertion of American nationalism on the economic front as well as in foreign affairs.

Fuel to the Fire Book

America’s Nuclear Crossroads: A Forward‐​Looking Anthology

As the United States adjusts to a changing global balance of power, nuclear deterrence is poised to return to a level of importance in U.S. national security not seen since the end of the Cold War. However, U.S. nuclear strategy will have to contend with emerging issues like arms control in a multipolar world, the evolution of strategic technology, and the new contours of great power competition.

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    How Do Small‐​Dollar, Nonbank Loans Work?

    Millions of Americans rely on small‐​dollar, non‐​bank‐​supplied credit products: payday, pawn, vehicle title, and personal installment loans from finance companies. Many features of these vital products, however, are not well understood. This book contains explanations of how these loans work, what features they share, and how they differ. Readers seeking to understand these products might learn something surprising. For example,

    • Pawn transactions are not loans in the traditional sense.
    • Interest rate caps influence the size of installment loans.
    • The length of a payday loan affects its annualized interest rate.

    This objective guide is a must‐​read resource for legislators, regulators, journalists, and anyone else who cares about access to, and regulation of, small‐​dollar credit.

    How Do Small-Dollar, Nonbank Loans Work?